Monday, August 30, 2010

Trivia and Puzzles

I got these little tidbits in a couple emails, and some of them were so funny that I felt like sharing the best ones. Hope you like them. ^_^
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THINGS YOU PROBABLY NEVER KNEW!
1. Money isn't made out of paper. It's made out of cotton. (Wha...? O,o)
2. The dot over the letter 'i' is called a 'tittle.' (Hee hee. ^,^)
3. 40% of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals. (Two fifths? Wow!)
4. 315 entries in Webster 's 1996 Dictionary were misspelled. (How'd they get away with that?)
5. On average, 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents, daily. (How many will learn the truth when they get older, I wonder?)
6. Most lipstick contains fish scales. (Eeewww. >,<)
7. Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
(Your loss, Finland.)
8. Ketchup was sold in the 1830's as medicine. (One question. Why?)
9. Upper- and lower-case letters are named 'upper' and 'lower' because in the time when all original print had to be set in individual letters, the Upper case' letters were stored in the case on top of the case that stored the smaller, 'lower case' letters. (That's it? Cool. ^_^)
10. Some facts about Leonardo Da Vinci: he could write with one hand and draw with the other at the same time, hence multi-tasking was invented, it took him 10 years to paint Mona Lisa's lips, and he also invented scissors. (This is actually a couple fun facts rolled into one, since they're all about Da Vinci.)
11. Because metal was scarce, the Oscars given out during World War II were made of wood. (They still had the Oscars during the war? Brave.)
12. There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos. (I guess they don't count wrist watches people might be wearing.)
13. The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan; there was never a recorded Wendy before!
(Wow, I wonder where JM Barrie got the name then.)
14. Celery has negative calories! It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with. It's the same with apples. (I love celery. ^_^ I think I knew it had negative calories, somewhere in my mind, but I didn't know apples had them too. So an apple a day does keep the doctor away.)
15. Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries. (Now that's interesting.)
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NEXT, CAN YOU SEE THE DOUBLE MEANINGS IN THESE WORDS?
Look upside down for the answers (if you can't figure them out yourself. O,o)
.ǝɯ/noʎ :4 ؛uɹɐǝן/ɥɔɐǝʇ :3 ؛ןıʌǝ/poob :2 ؛uoısnןןı/ןɐɔıʇdo :1

Friday, August 27, 2010

Foudroyant

After 3 or 4 days of staying indoors most days because of pouring rain (only venturing out to go to a new Toastmasters meeting or the library or someplace else), I am so happy about how the weather has returned to it's full sunny splendor. ^_^ Technically, the rains stopped yesterday, but today the sky was absolutely cloudless! I'm serious. Weather-wise, it was just a perfect day.

The other day, at one of the Toastmasters meetings I visited with my brother and sister, I learned a new word which beautifully describes things now. Now I will teach it to you: Foudroyant. Basically it's an adjective that means "Stunning, dazzling, having an awesome and overwhelming effect." Certainly an appropriate word to pull out for such an occasion. ^_^ Here, I'll use it in an example:

The weather was absolutely foudroyant today.

I kind of regret not blogging for more than a week. A lot of stuff has happened in that space of time. I went to my 6th Toastmaster meeting yesterday, which was really nice. It reminded me the most of our club back home, I think. A little small, but well organized and with very friendly people running things. I look forward to going back to our club again. Maybe I'll do a new speech on the things I learned from going to different clubs...

This foudroyant afternoon (^_~) I went with my siblings on a tour of Emerson College. I remember seeing Emerson last year, when Annette and I went by ourselves for the summer, and I have the very same high opinion of this school as I had of it last year: Emerson is simply the best college EVER!

I'm still undecided about whether going to college will be in my future or not, but if I really wanted to, I know Emerson would be perfect for someone like me. It's totally a liberal arts school (I loved it when they talked about Writing, Literature and Publishing ^_^) and it's right next to the Boston Commons/ Public Gardens. For those who have never been to Boston, that's where the swan boats and the "Make Way For Ducklings" statues are.

Speaking of the Commons, I've been having an absolute blast going there! I believe I've gone 4 times, if you'll believe it. The animals at the Commons are famous for being extremely tame and eating peanuts out of your hands, so my siblings and I have been having such fun feeding the pigeons and squirrels. They are so cute!!! See the pics? ^_^












Not to hurt the pigeons' feelings, but I, personally, especially love interacting with the squirrels. ^_^ You only have to see the below videos to know why.

(You don't have to see them if you don't want to. But I ask you: who wouldn't want to see awww-some rodents with swishy tails doing bold and adorable stuff?)

video
video
^_^
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Something else that I regret is that my poetry writing hasn't picked up since I last posted, which, for me, is sad. ~,~ I think the poems that I did manage to write were pretty decent, though. Not my best work, but I like them all the same.

Recently I've taken a new tack with my writing. Anyone who reads my book blog would know that I've gotten into short story anthologies. As a result, I got the inspiration to write my own short story. I don't believe I've finished it yet, but I know it's great. ^_^ I don't really want to talk about it on my blog (I'm nervous about story-thieves), but if anyone is genuinely interested and curious about it, I will be happy to share more details about it.

Hopefully this has been a foudroyant post for you to read. Maybe I've entertained you with my antics, maybe I've added a word to your vocabulary. In any case, you are now done reading this post. Don't worry. I'll try to write again soon. ^_~

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Busy in Boston

Okay, looks like I messed up on the poetry thing a tiny bit. I came up with a poem about walking around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, but it was in very rough shape when I wrote it, so I haven't posted it yet. I still need to sit down and fix it. Plus I didn't write any poems for the last couple days. *sad.* ~,~

I know, I know. Probably no one cares that I'm breaking my own rules, but this was supposed to be a challenge for myself, and so far I'm failing it. Therefore, I'm going to change my rules a bit. Instead of writing EVERY day for 3 weeks, I'm just going to write as much as I possibly can. No pressure at all.
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On a different subject, Boston is amazing. ^_^ Since we come here every summer, after just a few days I feel like I've lived here my entire life instead of Florida. Today I visited Harvard Square with my brother and sister. When we were hungry, we went to Au Bon Pan and shared some wraps and soup in a bread bowl! That's the first time I've ever had that. I highly recommend it. *yum*

Speaking of bread (haha, funny picture, no?), we're going to visit a Boston Toastmasters club as guests tonight. I'm pretty excited about going. I've been a member of my club, Beacon Point Toastmasters, for almost an entire year now. I'm curious about how other TM clubs run their meetings. Maybe I'll make some new friends...

The other day we went to the library, and I had lots of fun reading graphic novels, and suddenly I saw these cards at a desk, advertising a very special event in one of the library rooms. Suzanne Collins, author of the popular Hunger Games Trilogy, is coming to Boston on August 31st! To my library! ^_^ I think it's so amazing, the number of celebrities I am having the privilege to meet this year.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem she'll be signing books, just giving them each a stamp or something. Something wrong with her hand. But at least people get to take pictures with her, and perhaps talk to her. And at least now I've got a reason to buy this book, and not have to wait for it to come in the library or anything. Heehee, I've got some good questions to ask Suzanne...

Alright. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Hope everyone is having as good a week as I am!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Almost forgot!

So much went on today that I nearly forgot to write a poem for my challenge! Here it is. Hope you like it. ^_^

Today was just awesome. While my parents shopped at the Farmers Market (they have amazing prices on fruits and veggies), my siblings and I were dropped off at Faneuil Hall, and we had such a glorious time!

First we hung out at the awesome Newbury Comics store, where I read Flight Volume 7 (which was better than all the volumes before it! I definitely need to write a review of it later.) and had lots of fun looking at the hilarious novelty items for sale. The ice-cube trays were the best (left). Such wacky shapes!

Then we watched a hilarious show that a street performer (also known as a "busker") put on for us. I took a whole video of the performance, but it's so long that Blogger probably won't allow me to put it on. ~,~ I'm thinking that when I have the time, I'll put my pictures and movies up on Facebook, then I'll be able to link them for you to see.

After the busker show, we got some pizza at a very special place called "The Famous One." One look at the menu will probably tell you what makes it so famous.
Can you believe that we got an absolutely delicious large pepper and onion pizza pie for only 10 bucks? I loved it. ^_^ In my opinion, it was so much better than the pizza I had yesterday.

Ha, I just realized that today was Friday the 13th. ^_^ It certainly didn't feel like an unlucky day for me at all. In fact, I feel so lucky just to be back in this wonderful city. It's amazing how, year after year of visiting every summer, the fun never wears off of this place...

I'll try to write here tomorrow, though I wonder how often I should post blogs about my time in Boston... Definitely keep a tab on my poetry blog though, because that'll be sure to be updated daily. If I don't mess up, that is. 0,o

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Greetings from Boston, Mass.!

Hi! Did you guys miss me? ^_~ I probably didn't give you that much time to miss me. The entire road-trip took about 30 or so hours...

Yeah, can you believe it? From Florida to Massachusetts in just 30 hours! Even better, we had all the stuff we were taking (clothes, shoes, computers, food for the trip, even a guitar!) packed in the trunk of a VW Beetle. "Impossible!" you may say. Not with a family like mine, it's not. ^_^

To prove it, may I present these pictures (that I took) of the car being slowly un-packed.

Despite how crowded it looks in the back, it was actually really comfortable in the cabin of the car, which is probably a first. 0,o Even with the guitar in there, this is less than what we usually pack for Boston.

What a trip! The two things I remember doing most was sleeping a lot, and driving a lot. When I was awake I would bop my head to music, write some poetry (you can see my first 2 poems on my blog, Maggie's Poetry Corner. They were both heavily influenced by being in the car for so long) and think excitedly about what I would do first when we arrived in Boston again. But the rest of the time, I was either out like a candle in the backseat, or putting in some serious driving hours!

I drove more on this trip than any other, since I learned to drive. Probably about 6 hours in total, and most all of it was done at night! Yep. I am proud to say that I took on the graveyard shift. ^_^ Really, it was nothing. Despite how much I slept, it seems like whenever I'm behind the wheel, I can't possibly get tired. Well, I did have awesome rock music to help keep me awake, but I'm sure I could have done the job even without it.

My dad was a hero on this trip. A real trooper. In addition to all the driving he did (he usually takes the bulk of it), he stayed awake in the shotgun seat while Annette and I drove, to make sure we didn't take a wrong exit or crash or anything. This means he got very little sleeping done, except for a little bit when our mom drove. After driving more than ever before, I can truly appreciate what he puts himself through every year. Thank you so much, Dad. You're the best! ^_~

Now we're in Boston! I'm so excited to be here. I spent my first couple years of life in this apartment, and I've been coming here with my family nearly every summer since the beginning of the millennium. I have so many incredible memories here. I can't wait to start making some all-new ones. ^_^

Catch you guys later! ^_~

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here we go!

Alright. We're going to be off really soon! It's 5:00 in the morning right now, and we want to be out of here by 6:30, I think.

Try not to miss me for a couple of days! ^_~

Next time I blog here I'll be in good ol' Boston, Mass. So excited! ^_^

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Before Boston

Just like last year, when Annette and I were getting ready to fly up to Boston all by ourselves, the day before we head off is going extremely slowly. I woke at like 7:00 this morning, and puttered away at the computer a bit, then when everyone else was up I helped gather up everything that we needed to pack and organized our rooms and stuff like that.

Then I went on a walk with my Dad and siblings. There were gray clouds outside, but we didn't take an umbrella with us. We didn't think it would rain that much on our walk. Well, it didn't at first, but then later...
It did. =P
Both ways.
It was so funny. All 4 of us were absolutely soaked to the skin by the time we got to the supermarket! Secretly, I liked it, though. I love getting caught in the rain. I love getting all wet without swimming or taking a shower (though it's sad that my clothes get soaked too). And when the rain is particularly cold and hard, and I finally get to a dry place, I can do nothing but simply laugh at the absurdity of it all. ^_^

After we got home and dried off, I didn't really know what to do, so I hung out in my room, lying on my bed. It's my last day before another big trip. I always feel sorry to leave my comfortable bed behind when we travel. So I was lying down, letting my thoughts wander, and then before I knew it...
I was asleep.
at least one new poem every day. Kind of like the 7 poems in 7 days challenge I gave myself back in December (that long ago already? 0,o). That'll definitely keep my creative juices flowing. And I'll probably have lots of inspiration while I'm traveling.

This is a personal challenge for myself, but if anyone wants to join me in this endeavor, you're more than welcome. ^_~ I'll post all my poems to my Poetry Corner, though I'll make sure to link each one of them in this blog

Just wanted you guys to know all that.

Have a wonderful day! *Bettina out*

Monday, August 9, 2010

8-9-10 ^_^

Ha ha. It's funny that today is like counting up to 10. ^_^

For once I've updated 3 of my blogs in the same morning. I feel quite accomplished. ^_^

I came up with (at least I think) an awesome poem. It was inspired by a long chat with a good friend of mine. I had so much fun! (Chatting and writing the poem) [LINK] ^_^

Just a couple days left before I go to Boston. I'm really excited. Forget what I said a couple posts ago. I think I'll stick with writing in this blog, not the Travel blog. I like this one a lot better. ^_^

*contented sigh* Ahhhh. Life is good. So good in fact, that I feel inclined to end every paragraph with a smiley. ^_^

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bye bye, birdies

This isn't really a picture of Sasha and Sammy, Annette and my 2 pet cockatiels. I just found this photo on Google Images and liked it a lot. They really look a lot like our boys, though. ^_^ I think the one on the right, looking down, would be Sammy, and the one on the left looking at him, all puffy, would be Sasha.

I'm really glad that we've found someone to mind our birds while my family and I go on our annual trip to Massachusetts. For a while, Annette and I were worried about who was going to care for our them, because a lot of the friends we'd asked were either going on vacation themselves or weren't up to the task. But now we're good. ^_^ Now I can properly look forward to going up Boston!

I think we might visit a couple Toastmasters clubs while we're up there. That'll be fun, seeing how other clubs run their meetings...

I'll probably use My Boston Travel blog to document my goings-on up there again. Just so those who are still reading my blog know that I'm not M.I.A. (Missing In Action.)

Recently, because of my newfound obsession with Jim Henson and all things Muppet, I've come to love this old show from the 90's, called "Dinosaurs." It is so hilarious! It reminds me of what the Simpsons would probably be like in the Jurassic period. ^_^ It's amazing how they got the characters to look so realistic. The baby is so cute and funny! He's voiced by Kevin Clash, the same guy who does Elmo (believe it or not). I highly recommend seeing it on YouTube.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Never mind

Whoever is reading this right now, I'd like to say I'm sorry. I wrote a post a few days ago, asking people to comment my blogs because I've been feeling a little lonely here in Blogger-world. After publishing that post, which didn't get many comments, as I sadly expected (except for that 1 person whose comments always count as 10 comments to me ^_~), I started thinking, "Hey, maybe it doesn't matter that I don't get comments. I'm writing these blogs because I want to, not because someone has a gun to my head, or is putting money in my hand, or anything like that. I'm doing this for me."

So my friends, you are off the hook. I don't care whether people comment or not (though I would certainly enjoy it ^_^). I'll continue to comment my friends when they blog, because I like to do that sort of thing, and I won't expect the same thing from them, because they'll still by my friends whether they comment or not. In the meantime, I'll post whatever I think is post-worthy and let people decide for themselves whether or not it is comment-worthy.

Thank you. And now for something completely different.
Yesterday my family and I went to the theater expecting to see "Karate Kid" together, but that was sold out. So no Jaden Smith or Jackie Chan. *sad* ~,~ Luckily "Eclipse" was also playing, so my sibs and I saw that instead while my parents enjoyed a film called "Solitary Man".

For some reason, since finishing the book Eclipse over a year ago, I'd forgotten most of the plot. I remembered there newborns were introduced and the vampires had to do battle for some reason, but I didn't quite remember why. So basically, I was in the same boat as my brother and sister, who have never even read the book before, with just a slight advantage. As the film progressed, I started remembering all the elements and I remembered why I'd liked the story so much in the first place.

I think Eclipse the book ranks as my least favorite Twilight novel, but the movie... Wow! It's definitely my favorite in the film Saga. The acting was really good (for some reason, Kirsten Stewart's face reminded me of a young Kiera Knightly 0,o), the effects were better, I think (Edward glitters in the sun better, and the wolves are SO convincing), and some scenes were really funny.

I loved the humor in this movie. ^_^ I most definitely think this movie made me smile, maybe laugh, more than "Twilight" or "New Moon" did. For example, the first time Jacob has his shirt off in this movie (Taylor Lautner is still incredibly hot 0,o) and Edward sees him and he says "Doesn't he have a shirt?" My theater collectively laughed at that joke. Also when Jacob explained to Bella's dad that he'd kissed her and she'd broken her hand from trying to punch him (he was like a brick wall!). Oh, but the funniest part had to be when Bella, Edward and Jacob are in the tent on that mountain in the blizzard, and Bella's freezing, so there's no choice but for Jacob to make her warm. So he says to Edward, both guys with a completely straight face, "I am hotter than you." ^__^ Hilarious. Very much the highlight of the movie.

In other news, James Dashner's contest for a genuine ARC of "The Scorch Trials" now has over 200 entries! That is unbelievable! I think this is his biggest contest yet. The contest ends tomorrow, so there's still plenty of time for you to enter. Just click here. Of course, there are 200+ people who came before you, including me (I have 3 comments in there, actually. Don't know if this will improve my chances of winning, but still. 0,o), but I believe that there will be more chances to get a Scorch ARC very soon. ^_^ You can visit this blog for more details and updates.

For now I think that's all I'll be blogging, so happy reading and happy living. Catch you later. Peace! ^_^

Monday, August 2, 2010

Contest for Scorch Trials ARC!

Big news for big James Dashner fans! He is now holding a contest on his blog, the Dashner Dude, for an ARC of his latest book, the sequel to the awesome "The Maze Runner" (reviewed here), epically titled "The Scorch Trials." Sounds exciting, huh?

A lot of people are entering this contest, so don't delay! You too can possibly win your very own ARC of "The Scorch Trials" by the great James Dashner. Just comment with a good deed you have done recently or intend to do in the very near future. It's that easy.

Good luck!